Liverpool v Everton: The changing face of the Merseyside derby

Match of the Day

You can watch Liverpool v Everton in the FA Cup third round live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website from 19:30 GMT on Friday.

Liverpool and Everton meet on Friday night in the 230th Merseyside derby, with a place in the FA Cup fourth round at stake.

The days when both clubs dominated English football are gone but that will not diminish the occasion at Anfield, or what a win will mean to both sets of fans.

Liverpool v Everton: The changing face of the Merseyside derby
Liverpool v Everton: The changing face of the Merseyside derby

BBC Sport talks to players from both camps about what the derby was like down the years – and which of the factors they remember that might decide Friday’s tie.

The 1980s: The Mersey monopoly reigns supreme

Everton's John Bailey and Liverpool's Alan Kennedy after the 1984 League Cup final
Both teams did a lap of honour together after the 1984 League Cup final finished goalless at Wembley. Liverpool won the replay 1-0 at Maine Road
Liverpoolin 10 seasonsEverton
6 (8)Titles (other trophies)2 (2)
W15 D8 L7Derby recordW7 D8 L15
1.7Average position7.2
8/10Who finished higher?2/10

By Mark Lawrenson, 356 appearances for Liverpool 1981-1988

“If we could not win the title or a trophy, then I can honestly say I wanted Everton to.

“That was mostly because of what was happening in Liverpool at the time – in the aftermath of the Toxteth riots of 1981, Merseyside had basically been tossed aside by the government, which was outrageous.

“So, when it came to the government and their policies, our view was along the lines of ‘we will show you lot’.

“That meant there was a togetherness in the city, and there was a different kind of rivalry between us than, say, Arsenal and Tottenham or Celtic and Rangers.

“After we had drawn at Wembley in the 1984 League Cup in the first all-Merseyside final, we had a big team picture taken together on the pitch which you could not imagine other sides doing now, or even at the time.

Liverpool player-manager Kenny Dalglish and Mark Lawrenson celebrate the Reds' league and FA Cup double in 1986
Liverpool player-manager Kenny Dalglish and Mark Lawrenson celebrate the Reds’ league and FA Cup double in 1986. Everton finished second in the league, two points behind the Reds, and lost the FA Cup final 3-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time

“We recognised we had the two best teams in the country in Liverpool and Everton and, as well as the football, the fans saw the bigger picture – which was great.

“The other reason I had so much respect for them was that we knew their players so well too. A lot of the lads played together for their international teams, and we all lived near each other – either near Southport or on the Wirral.

“They were quite small places so we would see each other all the time when we were out – including when Ronnie Whelan and I were at a night club in Ainsdale in 1987 just after Everton had won the league.

“Their entire squad turned up with the trophy, and did the conga across the dancefloor.

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Football Focus at 40: Gary Lineker takes on Mark Lawrenson at snooker before 1986 FA Cup Final

“We had to bite our lip a bit that night but generally when we mixed it was not a problem at all, apart from when Pat van den Hauwe signed for Everton in 1984. He was a better player than people gave him credit for but he did have a wild side to him.

“I was out with Ronnie another night when Pat walked into the pub and came straight over to ask how we were doing.

“We had a beer together and Pat was absolutely fine until I just remember him saying ‘I am going to have him’ and Ronnie and I didn’t know what he was on about.

“Pat said ‘that bloke there – he keeps staring at me,’ but, when we looked over, there was nothing happening.

“We asked him ‘what bloke?’ but Pat kept on saying it and we thought it was probably a good time to sup up and leave. We did not arrange to meet up for another drink with him either.”

Kevin Ratcliffe lifts the league trophy in 1985 and 1987. He is Everton's most successful captain in the club's 140-year history
Kevin Ratcliffe lifts the league trophy in 1985 and 1987. He is Everton’s most successful captain in the club’s 140-year history

By Kevin Ratcliffe, 493 appearances for Everton 1981-1988

“Lawro is too nice. He would have been a much, much better player if he had been nastier!

“Liverpool are the last team I want to win anything. I wouldn’t support them if they were playing against a team from Timbuktu.

“The only reason I looked for their result when I was playing was to see if we had gained any points on them.

“I know it sounds a bit stupid that I could hate them so much that I would never want them to win, yet still be friends with their players, but that was how it was in our day.

“I roomed with Ian Rush for Wales so what could I do? Keep the rivalry going and not talk to him when we were international team-mates? No.

“We would room with each other for a week, then kick lumps out of each other when we played each other on a Saturday.

Ian Rush and Kevin Ratcliffe were both from north Wales and were international team-mates but club rivals
It never actually came to pistols at dawn but Rush and Ratcliffe did not let their friendship get in the way of their rivalry on the pitch for Liverpool and Everton

“We both lived in north Wales and, when he was banned from driving, I used to give him a lift to and from training – although the rule was that he had to be ready when I was picking him up outside of Anfield, and it had to be outside the Shankly Gates. I would never go inside.

“During that time I also gave him a lift home after he had scored four goals against Everton [at Goodison Park in November 1982].

“He had the match ball in the front seat with him – and he even asked me to get it signed for him too. I can’t tell you what my reply was.”

The 1990s: Liverpool knocked off their perch but Everton fall further

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FA Cup: Everton 4-4 Liverpool highlights from 1990-91 fifth-round replay
Liverpoolin 10 seasonsEverton
1 (2)Titles (other trophies)0 (1)
W7 D9 L7Derby record head-to-headW7 D9 L7
4.4Average position12.4
10/10Who finished higher?0/10

By Barry Horne, 151 appearances for Everton 1992-96

“The parallels between Sam Allardyce’s impact at Everton and what Joe Royle did when he arrived as Everton manager are obvious, really.

“We were in proper relegation trouble when Joe replaced Mike Walker as manager in November 1994 – bottom of the table and with only one win from our first 14 league games.

“If you ask Joe, he will tell you that when he walked into the club and worked with us, he was surprised by how good we were.

“So Joe inherited a good squad of players that were massively under-performing – as did Sam.

“The derby was Joe’s first game in charge – he came in on the Thursday and we played Liverpool at Goodison Park on the Monday.

“We won 2-0 and that was the game that really got our season up and running. We ended it by winning the FA Cup of course.

Barry Horne celebrates Everton's 1995 FA Cup win with goalkeeper Neville Southall
Barry Horne celebrates Everton’s 1995 FA Cup win with goalkeeper Neville Southall. Horne’s most famous goal for the club was a spectacular strike against Wimbledon on the final day of the 1993-94 season that helped the Toffees avoid relegation

“If it had just been another game against some mid-ranking opposition then that would have been great, but because it was Liverpool, it was extra special. The impact on the whole club could not have been bigger – I just remember the whole place was buzzing for days, and we kept that momentum going.

“The derby did that for us but Friday’s game won’t be the launchpad for Everton because that has already happened under Sam.

“Like Joe did with us, he has turned things around quickly through adding discipline and doing the basics well – especially defensively – and giving the players belief in a system that will bring them results.

“Joe’s team got given the Dogs of War label, and there was a reason for that, but we were never given credit for some of the football we were capable of.

“We also had a fantastic derby record during my time at the club, even though we were not really competing with Liverpool in terms of our league position.

Roy Evans
Evans was a Liverpool player who retired at the age of 26 in 1974 to join the club’s coaching staff and rose through the ranks to become manager in 1994

By Roy Evans, former Liverpool manager, spent 35 years at the club as player, coach and – from 1994 to 98 – manager

“As a manager I would not really change much about my tactics for the derby. We always focused, more or less, on ourselves.

“It was a matter of how we played, just as it was against everyone else. What we were good at was attacking, and I tried to win by doing that.

“I did always try to make sure our players kept a cool head for these games, but the danger with telling people to calm down beforehand is that, if they put in a lacklustre performance, they can turn around and say ‘well you told me to take it easy’.

“These matches are only about one thing, though, and that is winning. And sometimes, when I was Liverpool manager, Everton beat us in a different way.

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‘Moan all you want’ – Allardyce v Klopp

“After one derby match I said something along the lines of ‘School of Science? give me a break’ because I would not say the football they played was brilliant.

“You are allowed to play whatever way you like of course but, as a manager, you often speak straight after a game when you are bitter or you don’t like the way the game has gone and those are the type of things you say. That part of the game has not changed.”

The 2000s: Why Everton could not crack fortress Anfield

Kevin Campbell scores the winner the last time Everton won at Anfield, in September 1999
On Friday it will be 6,675 days since Everton last won at Anfield. Their last victory on the Red side of Stanley Park came on 27 September 1999, when Kevin Campbell scored a fourth-minute winner. Since then they have drawn 10 and lost 10 of their 20 visits in all competitions – scoring 12 and conceding 33
Liverpoolin 10 seasonsEverton
0 (5)Titles (other trophies)0 (0)
W12 D7 L3Derby record head-to-headW3 D7 L12
3.5Average position9.9
9/10Who finished higher?1/10

By Phil Neville, 303 appearances for Everton 2005-13

“One of my greatest nights as Everton captain was in the FA Cup fourth round in 2009.

“We had drawn at Anfield to take them back to Goodison and Dan Gosling scored the winner in the last minute of extra time. I will never forget that feeling.

“During my time at Everton we finished above Liverpool twice – in 2011-12 and 2012-13 – and there were three other seasons where they only finished one place above us.

“So we always competed closely against them in that way, but at Anfield it was different – our performance level and especially our results against them there were shocking really.

Phil Neville did not win any of his eight appearances at Anfield as an Everton player but with Manchester United he won six games there between 1997 and 2005
Phil Neville did not win any of his eight appearances at Anfield as an Everton player but with Manchester United he won six games there between 1996 and 2005

“I think the issue was with our mentality. When I went to Anfield with Manchester United, we had a very good record and would go there thinking this is our stadium and believed we could win.

“When I went there with Everton, there didn’t seem to be that same belief. It was partly to do with our record there because in the build-up to the game you would get it rammed down your throat.

“You would start believing that you are going somewhere where you never win and it is impossible to win.

“I think that is still a problem for Everton. On Friday, they have to be a little bit braver and, more importantly, have a little bit more belief that they can go there and win.

“Yes it is the home of their biggest rivals but they need to lose the fear factor because, if they don’t, they will keep on getting beaten.”

Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld and Everton striker Francis Jeffers were sent off for this clash during Everton's win at Anfield in September 1999 and a young Steven Gerrard joined them in being shown red before the end of the game. The derby has seen the most red cards - 21 - of any fixture during the Premier League era
Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld and Everton striker Francis Jeffers were sent off for this clash during Everton’s win at Anfield in September 1999 and a young Steven Gerrard joined them in being shown red before the end of the game. The derby has seen the most red cards of any fixture during the Premier League era – 14 for Everton and seven to Liverpool

By Danny Murphy, 249 appearances for Liverpool 1997-2004

“Gerard Houllier used to talk to us a lot in the run-up to the derby about keeping our heads, because at that time Everton were losing a lot of players to red cards when we played them.

“Especially at Goodison, when their fans got behind them, they could not control themselves most of the time and they normally lost because they had a man sent off or were ill-disciplined.

“It was right for the manager to point that out and make sure that we did not fall into that trap and it is still important now – look what happened to Dejan Lovren when he gave away a penalty in the last derby.

“That is ill-discipline. You are not getting sent off for it but you are still throwing the points away.

“In my day, we still had a lot of locally born players like myself, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard in the side, as well as the foreign lads.

“Most of them were bright and would engage in finding out what the game meant to everyone. The week before would be different and if they did not get it then Carra or Stevie G would be in their ear to make sure they were extra ready.

“But there was sometimes something positive in a few of the lads not knowing what it meant because they would play more calmly.

“If you don’t get the enormity of it, you play your normal game instead of letting the atmosphere get the better of you, being affected by your own nervous energy and making mistakes.

“You could leave them be – people like Vladimir Smicer and El Hadji Diouf, who were good players on the ball and would hang on to the ball a lot and you would not want them to change that. It was nice to have a mix.”

The 2010s: When will Everton win again in this decade?

Tim Cahill celebrates Everton's last derby win, a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park in October 2010
Tim Cahill celebrates Everton’s last derby win, a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park in October 2010 – since then they have lost seven and drawn eight of the 15 meetings between the two sides in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and conceding 29
Liverpoolin eight seasonsEverton
0 (1)Titles (other trophies)0 (0)
W8 D8 L1Derby record head-to-headW1 D8 L8
6Average position7.8
6/8Who finished higher?2/8

By Leon Osman, 433 appearances for Everton 2003-2016

“When he was Everton manager, Roberto Martinez would not play me in derby games because he thought I would be too emotional as a local player.

“That is what he told me, and it was hugely frustrating. I spoke to him a few times asking him why and he just said he thought I would get too emotionally involved.

“He said he needed cool heads which was a surprise to me because, as much as I could get worked up for a derby, a cool head is probably something I had through my career more than anything else.

“I still think derbies are better when you have got local lads involved but I suppose every manager has got a different way of looking at it.

Leon Osman and Roberto Martinez
Osman made two substitute appearances in derbies under Martinez, totalling 47 minutes of action. Martinez did not win any of his six derby games, drawing four times and losing 4-0 twice at Anfield

“Our record in this game has been poor for a while now and there have been a couple of occasions where it was down to naivety. We went there and were above them in the table and tried to over-play rather than competing.

“I also think it is partly to do with the way football has changed.

“The derby is traditionally about pressure and tackles, and making it a real battle out on the field. When Everton were dominating the fixture in the mid-90s, it was with the Dogs of War, who just roughed Liverpool up at times.

“Nowadays, Everton cannot put a tackle in. I saw a tackle in the derby in December which was not even a foul and Jurgen Klopp was asking for a red card.

“It was ridiculous and that is what derby games have come to at the moment. The crowd get off their feet over a bad tackle more than anything else and it has become very difficult to keep that integrity you expect in this fixture.”

By Danny Murphy, 249 appearances for Liverpool 1997-2004

“I grew up a Liverpool fan and of course the derby means a lot more when you support one of the teams and go to these games as a boy.

“Liverpool against Everton is a big game but playing Manchester United was always bigger because they were our yardstick for success.

“Hence my kind of legacy as a Liverpool player is more about my winners against United than anyone talking to me about my goal against Everton. It was a late winner at Goodison and probably one of my best goals.

Danny Murphy celebrates his winner against Everton in 2003 with Liverpool fans
Murphy celebrates his winner against Everton in 2003 with Liverpool fans

“But actually no-one really remembers it and the reason is because we were so used to beating them. We still are and that is the simple truth.

“The blue half of the city probably won’t like hearing that, but the Liverpool fans will know it is true.

“If Everton win at Anfield on Friday it would be a shock and they would have some serious bragging rights because they would be taking away an opportunity for Liverpool to win some silverware.

“But I don’t see Liverpool slipping up because the manager and the players alike will understand the importance – not just of the derby but that they have a chance of winning this competition, because winning a trophy is huge for Liverpool this season.”

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